Ever wanted to make some home-made gingerbread biscuits for Christmas? Well here's your how-to guide.
Preparation time: 1 hour to make dough and overnight to cool dough down.
Cooking time: Approximately 5 minutes per tray of biscuits or approximately 1 hour for cooking all the dough into biscuits.
2 Eggs 500g Plain Flour
250g Butter 200g Sugar 200ml Syrup 4tsp* Ground Clove 4tsp Ground Cinnamon 4tsp Ground Ginger 3tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1tsp Ground All Spice
Flour for sprinkling Rolling pin
Optional extras for decorating:
1 - Boil the syrup and the spices in a pan.
2 - Allow the mixture to cool down (not too much or it will set)
3 - Beat the butter and sugar together until it is fluffy.
4 - Add the cooled down spicy syrup to the butter and sugar mix.
5 - Mix them together well.
6 - Add eggs in one at a time (mix well but carefully and by hand).
7 - Mix salt and bicarbonate of soda to the flour.
8 - Sieve the flour into the dough, folding it carefully until the dough is even.
9 - Cover the dough with clingfilm and place in fridge to cool overnight.
The next day - Now it's time for the fun part... the baking.
10 - Sprinkle flour onto a clean, flat surface i.e. kitchen table or work surface.
11 - Take a portion of the dough and roll it flat. If necessary, sprinkle a little more flour on the dough when rolling it to stop it sticking to the rolling pin and getting ruined (not too much though).
12 - Cover a baking tray with grease proof paper ready for when you cut shapes out of the dough.
13 - Use festive or traditional shaped biscuit cutters to cut your gingerbread dough shapes out.
14 - Place on baking tray.
15 - Place in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 7 or 225C for approximately 5 minutes* or until brown.
16 - Allow biscuits to cool down and harden before moving them from the baking tray and serving.
If you do not have any shape cutters then fear not. You can use a cup/mug to make simple circular shapes which will taste just as good.
If like me, you prefer the gingerbread biscuits to be a bit more soft than crunchy then adjust the baking time slightly and take them out when they look just a tad under-cooked as they will stay soft after they have cooled down.
After the biscuits have cooled down you can decorate them with icing (this is a really fun activity for children...and adults) or eat as they are.
If making decorations out of them then roll the dough a little bit thicker to prevent the biscuits being as fragile once baked and cut a pencil sized hole in the biscuits before baking so you can thread a ribbon through and hang them from a Christmas tree etc. Make sure not to place the hole too close to the edge or it may break.
If you are interested in baking them as a gift for someone then pick up some gift boxes or cellophane and ribbons and get creative. This is a fairly easy and fun gift idea if you're not sure what to get friends, family or work colleagues this Christmas.